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The Paper Boat
A Refugee Story
By (author): Thao Lam
9781771473637 Hardcover, Dust jacket English Juvenile: Age (years) from 6 - 9, Grade (CAN) from 5, Grade (US) from 5 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emigration & Immigration Sep 15, 2020
$19.95 CAD
Active 8.25 x 11 x 0.38 in | 442 gr 40 pages Full colour illustrations throughout Owlkids Books Owlkids
 
A Kirkus Reviews Most Anticipated Book for Fall 2020, Commended A Loan Stars Jr. Summer Top 10 2020, Commended A 100 Scope Notes 10 to Note for Fall 2020, Commended
A Kirkus Reviews most anticipated picture book of fall 2020 with starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books — a heartfelt and personal immigration story, new from critically acclaimed author Thao Lam

A Kirkus Reviews most anticipated picture book of fall 2020 with starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books — a heartfelt and personal immigration story, new from critically acclaimed author Thao Lam

New from Thao Lam, the award-winning author of picture books My Cat Looks Like My Dad, Wallpaper, and Skunk on a String, comes a personal story inspired by her family’s refugee journey.

In The Paper Boat, Thao’s signature collage art tells the wordless story of one family’s escape from Vietnam—a journey intertwined with an ant colony’s parallel narrative.

At her home in Vietnam, a girl rescues ants from the sugar water set out to trap them. Later, when the girl’s family flees war-torn Vietnam, ants lead them through the moonlit jungle to the boat that will take them to safety. Before boarding, the girl folds a paper boat from a bun wrapper and drops it into the water, and the ants climb on. Their perilous journey, besieged by punishing weather, predatory birds, and dehydration, before reaching a new beginning, mirrors the family’s own. Impressionistic collages and a moving, Own Voices narrative make this a one-of-a-kind tale of courage, resilience, and hope.

  • Lead title for fall 2020 season
  • A Kirkus Reviews most anticipated picture book of fall 2020
  • A key "Own Voices" selection for diverse books collections
  • Four starred reviews: Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
  • New from the author/illustrator of My Cat Looks Like My Dad, named a Booklist Editors’ Choice; Wallpaper, named a Kirkus Best Picture Book of 2018; and Skunk on a String, named a Kirkus Best Picture Book of 2016
  • Inspired by the author’s refugee journey as a child during the Vietnam War
  • Timely and relatable for children learning about current refugee experiences
  • Advertising in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Book Links, School Library Journal, and BookRiot
  • Author Thao Lam has an editorial running in Publishers Weekly's Canadian Supplement, September 28
  • Author Thao Lam will speak on a picture books panel at School Library Journal's fall Day of Dialog, October 15
  • Video interview with the author available
  • Activity and discussion guide available
  • Digital review copy available on NetGalley
  • New picture book from this author, entitled THAO, publishing Spring 2021

THAO LAM is the critically acclaimed author/illustrator of Wallpaper, My Cat Looks Like My Dad, and Skunk on a String. She studied illustration at Sheridan College and has an insatiable love of colored and textured papers, which she uses to create her exuberant collages. She draws inspiration from the stories she hears, from the beauty in everyday things, and from the work of the many illustrators she admires. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

"Children will be compelled to return again and again to digest its story. A timely, resonant, exceptional model of visual storytelling." - Kirkus Reviews – STARRED REVIEW

"Each panel is so detailed that readers will want to linger over them all, admiring Lam’s craft even while being immersed in emotions. A tender tribute to the author’s parents and to all refugees who survive and thrive despite enormous odds." - Booklist – STARRED REVIEW

"This sensitively rendered story is accessible to young viewers, and it’s a perfect stepping stone for older readers." - Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books – STARRED REVIEW

"The artistry in the illustrations is spectacular... An important story told in an impeccable format." - School Library Journal – STARRED REVIEW

"Crisply cut paper represents intricate domestic scenes and just as skillfully conveys suspense... in this story of bravery and resilience." - Publishers Weekly

"Thao Lam shares her family’s history in this wordless tribute to the adults and children who were forced to flee Vietnam in the aftermath of the war." - Foreword Reviews

"I loved this wordless true story of a little girl and her family escaping Vietnam for a new home in North American. Told in frames, like a comic or graphic novel, Thao Lam's story evolves as the family hides their goods, their intentions, and their leaving, with the story of the ants the girl has helped to make the same journey. It's dark and scary, but as much of our world is again feeling the same, it is also comforting to see them together at the end, all at home." - René Kirkpatrick, University Book Store, Seattle WA

"The visual storytelling here is rich and layered; it’s a compelling story and filled with such details that readers will find themselves lingering over panel after panel and page after page. It’s deeply moving, this tribute to Lam’s own family." - Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

"Unique, wordless, and beautiful." - 100 Scope Notes

Also Available

My Cat Looks Like My Dad Thao Lam 9781771473514 $19.95 CAD Apr 15, 2019
Wallpaper Thao Lam 9781771472838 $19.95 CAD Apr 15, 2018
Skunk on a String Thao Lam 9781771471312 $18.95 CAD Mar 15, 2016

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